Eat Fiber to Live a Long, Healthy Life- Study Suggests

fiber-dietA long, healthy life is something that virtually everyone wishes for. A new study has revealed a secret to a happier, healthier life.

Embrace a high-fiber diet to increase your longevity, suggests the study by Australian researchers.

The benefits of dietary fiber on our digestive health and overall well-being are well known, and now the latest study has linked intake of a diet rich in fiber to successful aging.

The study, led by Dr Bamini Gopinath, Ph.D., from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia, has come up with compelling evidence that intake of right amount of foods containing fiber that include breads, cereals and fruits can promote a healthy and longer life.

Healthy aging can be defined as the process of growing older naturally without letting the physical and mental diseases and disabilities, such as dementia, depression, respiratory disorder, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, wreak havoc on your health.

In order to explore the link between carbohydrate nutrition and healthy aging, Dr. Gopinath and her colleagues analysed data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a population-based study that examined more than 1,600 adults, all aged 50 years and older, to determine the prevalence of an eye disease called open-angle glaucoma and high eye pressure, medically known as ocular hypertension.

After examining the factors, such as an individual’s total intake of carbohydrate, total fibre intake, glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), and sugar intake, the researchers found that among all of the examined factors fibre intake was the one that made the biggest impact on “successful ageing.”

“Out of all the variables that we looked at, fiber intake, which is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, had the strongest influence,” said Dr. Gopinath, who is Associate Professor at the Westmead Institute’s Centre for Vision Research.

“Essentially, we found that those who had the highest intake of fiber or total fiber actually had an almost 80 percent greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life over a 10-year follow-up. That is, they were less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression, and functional disability,” she added.

The researchers hail their findings as significant but admit the results are preliminary and it is too soon to use them as a basis for dietary advice.

Healthy fiber can typically be found in fruits like strawberries, raspberries, oranges, bananas, pears and apples; grains like cereals, breads, and pastas as well as in nuts and seeds, and vegetables like broccoli, turnip greens, artichokes, corn, green pears, and brussels sprouts.

The latest study is published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.